When It Looks Different: A Perfectionist Battle
Many people describe perfectionism as the need for things to be "right". The need for things to be exactly in the right place at the right time...complete balance and harmony. Well, while this is, by definition, perfectionism, there is another side of it that is rarely discussed. The side that perfectionist would rather stay hidden and unmentioned.
When I started my first business only months after separating from the Air Force, I had no idea I was a perfectionist. I knew I liked things done right (as I planned them), but had no idea that very trait would cause so much havoc in my life LOL!
I truly believe this is why for me, entering the world of entrepreneurship shook me to my core! It's a world of things NEVER looking exactly like they are supposed to, plans often not working out, unpredictable events happening on a daily basis (especially if you work with humans), and most of all, money looking funny OFTEN. Add in the purpose God has assigned to you, and this already wild ride gets even wilder!
The problem about me entering this entrepreneurship space as a perfectionist is, that unexpected and unplanned things deal major emotional blows. Every time I set a financial goal I didn't hit, I beat myself up and got down on myself (i.e. I planned for a $20k month and only made $15k so I must be doing something wrong). Every time I put out a piece of content that didn't perform well, I beat myself up as if I wasn't doing it good enough. Every time I spent money on things, then realized later it wasn't a good investment, I ridiculed myself for not knowing better. Every time I took on a new client that ended up driving me to a breaking point, I got angry with myself for not seeing it coming and screening better. And so much more!
Over the last 10yrs of entrepreneurship I have become an expert at beating myself up. Because I entered into this as a perfectionist, someone who makes a plan and expects it to play out exactly as written, I wasn't ready when the twists and turns of entrepreneurship started to unfold.
During the past 6 months I have had to reevaluate everything I know about entrepreneurship, faith, love, friendships, and most of all everything I know about myself. Because what I didn't realize until this year was that I cannot be anchored in others opinions, expectations, and prophecies for me! Because doing that only fuels my perfectionism...because part of that disease is trying tirelessly to please others.
Instead, I have to be anchored in what God wants for me. God is not asking me for perfection...He is simply giving me instruction and asking me to trust Him enough to take the next step. The pressure is released when we give everything to God and let Him handle it vs trying to force things on our own.
My perfectionism caused me to chase every word said in expectation about me, instead of hearing God for myself and believing that it's possible for me to simply follow His instructions! I don't have to tirelessly plan my next moves and do the things that others want me to do or things they see for my life.
I have NOTHING to prove!
That statement was so difficult to write. Because still, my perfectionism wants to step in and make me believe I have to live up to something. Well, I do not. And you do not. All you have to do, is what you know God is telling you to do. Don't be swayed off that path by what others want from or for you.
What God has for you may look completely different than you thought, and what OTHER people thought. It takes courage to follow the path anyway.
My prayer for you is that you will seek God directly and believe that He will speak to you directly. That you will not be distracted or moved from the path God has for you by people or things. I pray that you will learn to hear a word, but take it back to God to let HIM tell you if that is for you (because every word spoken publicly OR privately is not for you). I pray that you do not fall into people pleasing and allow that to dictate your decisions and actions. That you learn to discern the instructions that are coming from God and those that are not. I pray that you stray from fruitless avenues and come back into alignment fully with what God has spoken for your life. I pray you continue to trust God in all you do and be at peace with things NOT LOOKING LIKE YOU PLANNED.
Remember that God has a plan for you.